Annual meeting 1949: Bangor

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10 September 1949 - 16 September 1949

Meeting report

The Annual Meeting this year was held in Bangor, with University College of North Wales as the centre, through the kindness of the Principal and Prof. Thoday of the Department of Botany. Several of the excursions took members into the Snowdonia region of the proposed National Park of North Wales, and others to the proposed Conservation area of the coast of Anglesey; visits which impressed upon those present the need for the conservation of the natural wealth of these areas for bryological reasons apart from the more obvious considerations.

On the evening of 10 September the meeting opened with an exhibition of specimens and maps of botanical and local interest in the Department of Botany. Of particular interest were a geological map of the region illustrating the areas to be visited, draft ecological survey maps of central Caernarvonshire by Dr N. Woodhead, experimental cultures of Splachnum ampullaceum, an exhibit of interesting local bryophytes including Riccia Beyrichiana, a new V.C. record for Anglesey (52), and the Society’s collection of photographs of members.

The Sunday was a free day but the Excursion Secretary, Mr W. S. Lacey, kindly arranged to show members around Bangor in the morning, and to lead a party in the afternoon to visit Church Island in the Menai Straits. The Island was very dry but several interesting bryophytes and lichens were seen just above high-water mark. including Trichostomum mutabile var. littorale, T. flavovirens, Pleurochaete squarrosa and Madotheca Thuja. Hypnum stellatum var. protensum, a new V.C. record, was found on limestone on the Caernarvon side of the Straits.

On the second day the party was taken to Llyn Ogwen, from where the climb was made to Glyder Fawr by way of Llyn Idwal and the Nameless Cwm. Above Llyn Idwal Tetraphis Browniana was found in a rock crevice in fruit. Cololejeunea microscopica, Harpalejeunea ovata and Weisia calcarea (new to V.C. 49) were also seen in Cwm Idwal, and in the same area Miss Duncan added two Sphagna to the V.C. records – Sphagnum auriculatum var. canovirescens and S. recurvum var. robustum. The members who reached the Nameless Cwm found among other interesting bryophytes Andreaea crassinervia, Zygodon lapponicus, Campylopus Schwarzii, and Hypnum callichroum. After a stiff scramble. the top of the ridge joining Glyder Fach to Glyder Fawr was reached, but owing to low cloud only transitory views were obtained. The top of the Glyders was poor bryologically. The descent was made to the north-west via Llyn y Cwn where Fontinalis Dixoni was seen in some quantity. In the pool above the Devil’s Kitchen Miss Duncan collected Sphagnum auriculatum var. submersum, another new V.C. record. On the way down the scree to reach the lower end of the Devil’s Kitchen Scapania ornithopodioides was found between the blocks. Bartramia Halleriana and Orthothecium rufescens were also seen in this locality.

On 13 September the island of Anglesey was visited. Newborough Warren being the first area to be examined. This proved to be very dry, and therefore the bryophytes which would normally be found in the many slacks had been covered by blown sand. It was not until a stream was found flowing out over the sand that any bryophytes of interest were seen. These included Hypnum Wilsoni, Petalophyllum Ralfsii, and Moerckia Flotowiana. On the way back to Newborough village Grimmia subsquarrosua and Madotheca Thuja were seen on the rock outcrops. The party then moved on to Llyn Coron and the fixed dunes by the Afon Ffraw which were thickly carpeted in the damper flat areas with Selaginella selaginoides, amongst which were found Preissia quadrata and Petalophyllum Ralfsii. Meesia trichoides and Catoscopium nigritum were also found here with capsules. On the return journey. Hypnum cordifolium was found on Malldraeth Marsh amongst Eriophorum angustifolium and also Physcomitrella patens which is a new record for Anglesey.

Snowdon itself was the chosen field for the next day’s collecting. The size of the area and the varying energy requirements for the different ascents caused the party to break up, thus rendering a complete report impossible. Llyn Du’r-arddu was the hunting ground of one group who searched for ‘Grimmia andreaeoides’. This party found G. atrata and G. elongata. Another group went to Llyn Llydaw where Alicularia compressa was found in its typical and aquatic forms, and also Andreaea Rothii var. falcata above the lake. Gymnomitrium alpinum was seen by the Pig Track, and a group which penetrated into Cwm Glas from the Pig Track by way of Dinas Mot recorded Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Plagiobryum Zierii, Bartramia ithyphylla, Metzgeria hamata, and Herberta adunca. The basic lava outcrops in Cwm Glas were well marked by the presence of such mosses as Trichostomum crispulum, T. tortuosum, and Neckera crispa.

The south-east corner of Anglesey was the objective for Thursday’s excursion. Llandegfan Common proved to be very interesting as shown by the following new V.C. records which were established: Pleuridium axillare, Ephemerum serratum, Sphagnum inundatum var. lancifolium, and S. auriculatum var, canovirescens. Riccia Beyrichiana and Fossombronia Wondraczeki, recently recorded for Anglesey, were also seen here. Chiloscyphus pallescens was found near Beaumaris Reservoir – a new record, as were also Fossombronia pusilla, Cephaloziella elachista and Sphagnum papillosum var. normale collected from Llanddona Common near Traeth.

The last excursion was to the thickly wooded and sheltered Afon Rhaiadr fawr above Aber. This was a pleasant contrast to the dry Anglesey scene and the wind swept ridges and cols of the mountains. Above Pont Newydd the shaded river was followed for some way until the gorge became too deep and narrow to remain below. In this part were found Trichocolea tomentella covering stones in a small rill, Fissidens curnowii with antheridia and capsules, F. crassipes (new record for V.C. 49), Fontinalis squamosa, and Nowellia curvifolia. Near the Small Falls Hygrohypnum lusitanicum was seen with Hypnum ochraceum; Cololejeunea calcarea was also found here. On the scree between the Small and Large Falls Leptoscyphus Taylori and Anastrepta orcadensis occurred together in quantity, and also Bazzania tricrenata, and Cynodontium Bruntoni on a rock. Hypnum dilatatum was found at the Large Falls, where also a cushion of Breutelia arcuata bearing several capsules delighted the party. Ephemerum serratum, Sphagnum squarrosum var. imbricatum, S. inundatum var, eurycladum, and S. amblyphyllum var. mesophyllum were added to the V.C. records from this area.

The week was a great success due to the excellent organization by Mr W. S. Lacey, who was helped to no small extent by Mr R. E. Parker of University College, Bangor, and by the weather over which they seemed to have an equally efficient control

P. J. Wanstall